Strange Circumstances make California first to ban declawing

As cities and counties scramble to get in under the wire of a January 1, 2010 deadline, California may inadvertently become the first state to ban the declawing of domestic cats.

 

Ironically, the regulation has become important to many local municipalities because of a bill signed by Governor Schwarzenegger.  Senate Bill 762 prohibits local governments from passing ordinances to ban declawing.

 

Before the new bill was signed, the issue of being “for or against” declawing was of little interest to most California cities – except West Hollywood which became the first city in the country to legislate a ban in 2003.  Now with the deadline of a statewide law looming over their heads more and more towns are getting on the bandwagon by quickly putting through local bans that will override the new law. 

 

The New York Times wrote, “Since late October, four cities – Berkeley, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Santa Monica – have passed anti-declawing ordinances, most in quick succession this month.”

 

This flurry of activity must have Governor Schwarzenegger scratching his head in puzzlement.  He acted on the new law at the request of veterinary groups such as the California Veterinary Medical Association. This group took West Hollywood to court to have their ban reversed, but lost.

 

So in an effort to prevent other cities from doing the same thing the CVMA pushed for a statewide law, which Schwarzenegger signed.

 

According to the group’s president Mark Nunez, “The decision to declaw a cat should remain between the owner in consultation with his, or her, veterinarian on a case-by-case basis.”

 

Now the towns of Culver City, Burbank and Beverly Hills along with the counties of Humboldt, Marin and Sonoma are also proposing bans to their local governments.

 

Declawing is a serious surgery.  It involves the amputation of all or part of a cat’s first paw joint to prevent the re-growth of the claw.  A recent survey in California showed that most veterinarians took the issue very seriously and “consider the procedure to be a last resort.” 

 

From my point of view, it appears that this whole mess occurred because veterinarians wanted the opportunity to discuss the issue with their clients rather than have it mandated. And the towns that passed the ban agreed with this, because they included a clause that allows veterinarians to perform a declawing surgery if they think there is a medical reason that calls for it.  

 

So in my opinion, California has taken a “non-issue” and turned it into a heated political debate. It just goes to show that you can’t force legislation where it is not wanted.

 

 

 

Heaven Can Wait Animal Society

107 comments

Muriel Servaege
Muriel Servaege4 years ago

To see what it's like to walk without claws, you should first try to remove you nails. Do you think you'll like it?

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Patricia W.
Patricia W5 years ago

Cats are digitigrade, which means they walk on their toes.
Correction to anyone who believes the cats retain their toes intact. WRONG! The top part of the toes are amputated, removing the distal phalanx, from where the nails grow. Even when done by laser, the damage is the same. Imagine your fingers ending at the top of your middle phalanx. Not very pretty ,huh.

Not only does this damage a cat physically, it also damages them mentally. Like their owners.

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Holly Lawrence
Holly Lawrence5 years ago

YAY ...STOP this declawing - itis so very cruel and painful ..shame on anyone who does it!

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Holly Lawrence
Holly Lawrence5 years ago

YAY ...STOP this declawing - itis so very cruel and painful ..shame on anyone who does it!

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Beverly G.
bev g5 years ago

AND TO ADD how woud MAN like his toenails ripped out?????. Duh i dont think so. It HAS to STOP.

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Beverly G.
bev g5 years ago

NO i DONT agree with de clawing, its not right , DOWNRIGHT cruel. why else would cats have claws' .They have claws for a purpose, not for some stupid human or fashion to say ' lets de-claw them. Sick. USA sort this out and stop the de clawing of cats. I have much and most respect for USA but not on this one.

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Mary Deforest
Mary DeForest5 years ago

U haven't met some of my cats. Claws of iron-walk past any scratching post and shred couches to tatters. People that complain about curtains are wimps. Then the city passed a law making it illegal to let a cat even sit in the door way. We would have played with them, if we could have found them-they hid in the couches they ripped up-we finally got one out of a heater vent and thoroughly nailed that shut. If the city had used half of its energy and money on catching criminals that it spent citing people about cats and catching cats, this city would have been crime free. CATS NEED CLAWS TO DEFEND THEIR SELVES FROM DOGS, ANTI-CAT LADIES, AND ANIMAL CONTROL OFFICERS.

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Daniel G.
Daniel Goldman5 years ago

Bellabecka:

Your egotistical, myopic and self-serving opinion about what "choice" entitles you to is sickening. This procedure is mutilation of a living creature.

No matter what you say, this is removing the ends of their digits.

Buy a stuffed animal or get therapy if you think that there is ever any justification for maiming a defenseless house pet.


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Trudi Gray
Trudi Gray5 years ago

What kind of 'person; would vote against the 'stop declawing' lobby? A sadistic ignoramus, that's who.....first- READ WHAT DECLAWING MEANS...it isn't like cutting your nails, y'know- it's an amputation.........would you like that?? How about you had all the first phalanges of YOUR fingers and toes chopped off surgically- nice, is it? How's walking now? Can you handle stuff like picking things up? NO?? Thought not........

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Rebecca C.
bellabecka C6 years ago

Like you are oblivious here as to why there are so many feral cats out ther who are left on the street to die or are euthansized who are healthy. People discard them for many reasons, and one primarily reason is because they destroy their furniture, etc. All my cats have been declawed either at my request or when I bought them from a shelter wherein they were declawed already. Yes, I have seen the procedure done (not just looking at pictures) for declawing a cat's front nails. Laser is easier and quicker with a lot less pain and heals a whole lot quicker. The cats I have owned that have been declawed, do not limp around because they no longer have any nails on their front paws. There paws and toes do not look DEFORMED. They act no different than those who have nails, so once again this should be left up to the owner as to whether they want this procedure done or not, not the government who is taking their "CHOICE" away from them.

My comment that I made on Care2 is my "choice" of how I feel about the matter. I don't believe in taking "our right of a choice" away from people who live in a country where we have freedom to make that choice. If you look at my cat who is declawed front paws only and you look at his toes on his paws, they look no different than that of a cat who has nails. Yes, I will agree that there are cats who have been operated on wherein they were left maimed, and damaged by the vet (not all vets are alike, just as there are human doctors wh

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